Attorney General Beshear is warning Kentuckians to be wary of seasonal employment scams targeting those looking to make some extra cash for the holidays.
The scam often appears as an online advertisement seeking a mystery shopper, package or shipping position or similar employment where Kentuckians can work from home and receive immediate payment.
Here is how the scam often plays out:
Once “hired” the “new employee” is mailed a check by a scammer and instructed to deposit it into his or her bank account. The new employee is then instructed to quickly send a large amount of money to the scammer or third-party to cover cost of equipment, training materials or health insurance.
After the employee sends the money, communication immediately stops with the scammer and the deposited check inevitably proves to be counterfeit.
The victim is left without seasonal employment and may be held accountable for the funds drawn and other charges by a bank for the deposited check.
“Unfortunately scammers look to thrive this time of year by taking advantage of the holiday season,” Attorney General Beshear said. “There are many legitimate seasonal employment opportunities, but Kentuckians must remain vigilant when seeking online job offers and watch for red flags associated with scams.”
Beshear said red flags often associated with job scams include:
u Paid in advance.
If you receive a check before doing any work, you are likely being targeted by scammers.
u Hired without an interview.
Be suspicious if you receive a job offer without completing an in-person or telephone interview. Be very concerned if the “human resources rep” uses a Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail email address rather than a corporate email account. Scammers often ask to communicate using instant or text messaging.
u Offered a high salary with few job duty details.
Jobs that sound too good to be true likely are. Watch for job postings that promise a high salary to work from home and require little experience or provide few job duty specifics.
u Immediately asked to provide personal or financial information.
Jobseekers are often asked to provide social security numbers and other personal and financial information as part of the hiring process. Take extra time to verify a company, the job posting and application before providing sensitive data.
One of Beshear’s top priorities is to protect Kentucky consumers, especially senior citizens from scams, abuse and exploitation.
To report a scam contact the Attorney General’s Office at 888-432-9257 and file a complaint online.
Kentuckians are urged to stay up to date on new and trending scams by signing up for Scam Alerts. To enroll text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311), or enroll online at ag.ky.gov/scams and select text message or email alert.